Silicon Valley Business Catalyst Blog

Web 2.0 Expo Take Aways for Product Managers and Product Marketing Managers

April 9, 2009

Listed are some take away messages from last week’s Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2009 that I thought would be important for Product Managers and Product Marketing Managers.  I went to many of the sessions and also interviewed several of the exhibitors local to Silicon Valley.  This post will provide insight into trends, business challenges to address, and areas to innovate.

General Messages
  • Be more agile – massive networking drives increase in dynamics and complexity
  • Feedback loops rule – learn by engaging in conversations
  • Increase transparency
  • Participate, listen, and act
  • Engage people – be authentic and consistent
Business Messages
  • It's about the people – be customer centric not company focused, which will allow your company to be more integrated and better connected across departments, businesses, customers, etc.
  • Find ways to offer a great service for free
  • Empower your community – remember that people want attention
  • Have employees spend time in your community – every week engage in blogs, forums, etc.
  • Focus on ROI – to get businesses who are in holding patterns buying again, make sure that they can achieve ROI usng your products
Product Management Messages
  • Build a simple system and let it evolve
  • Provide useful technology – Create more value than you capture
  • Open up your platforms – provide software interfaces to developers so they can also make money and innovate
  • Build feedback mechanisms into the product – quantify the impact of changes made to your product
  • Understand users – don’t build for the boss, build for customers by interviewing them before and throughout the development process
  • Do not launch and forget – great software requires iteration and a flexible process
  • Don’t make users think – users don’t want to get hung up on the product interface
  • For data to be useful, it must be digestible - Distill graphics to the basics by providing the minimum amount of information needed for the targeted audience
  • Deliver rich engaging social experience – Provide more functionality through rich media interface that is personal, social, immersive (flash, video, etc.), and multi-channel
Technology Messages
  • The future is mobile – information will be useful and accessible to everybody because the phone is now a cloud connected device with location attributes, camera, and voice capabilities.
  • Web is the most viable platform for building individual apps since it makes no sense to build for multiple code bases for the multitude of phones
  • It’s about the data, not the apps
Some of these messages may be good reminders and others may be new trends or ideas to hopefully get you motivated and moving forward.

You can find presentation files from the Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco 2000 at

To greater success.


Product Manage Your Career Through Changes and Transitions

March 17, 2009

We all need to anticipate for change whether we have a job or are in between jobs.  Change is stressful but it is how you deal with change that can bring you success.  To survive and succeed you must sense change, make sense of change, and respond to change.

Product managers and product marketing managers have an advantage when it comes to managing change.  For the products you manage, you are already (or should be already) monitoring the market for trends, updating your product offerings t...
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Finally... An Easy to Read White Paper on Product Management

February 16, 2009

I haven't found any simple yet comprehensive descriptions of Product Management for high-tech, so I created a two-page Product Management White Paper.  The link to this document has also been added to my Links & Resources page.

This White Paper on Product Management actually started as a blog but it just became too difficult to read.  There are so many dimensions of Product Management and it was easier to layout the information in a white paper.

I hope you find this document useful.  For othe...
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Choose Me — Bring in Product Management before Other Marketing Disciplines

February 12, 2009

Product Management is a critical function during tough economic times.  Many organizations when they start staffing unfortunately don’t bring in product management until marketing communications is already in place.  When organizations build their teams, the first marketing person they should hire is one with a solid product management background.  Start with product management and add product marketing and marketing communications later.  

This blog was inspired by Rocket Watcher’s blog ...
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User Experience Focused Product Team

January 14, 2009

If you’re a product manager starting to add user-centered design processes to product development to create more user-friendly products, consider how the product creation team will look like.

First of all, congratulations in recognizing that the revenue stream will continue as long as the customer experience is agreeable.  Just having this bit of knowledge will help you get closer to user-friendly products.  If you still don’t see why usability is important, read my post called “Poor E...
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About Silicon Valley Business Catalyst Blog

My motivation to begin this blog is to share my ideas mainly around technical marketing management, specifically product management and product marketing in the Silicon Valley. I am passionate about learning and want to help others who are also interested in building their expertise.

About Grace Hu-Morley

I am a

catalyst for product and business success

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